Tricks to Control PMS - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/1/02

Tricks to Control PMS

By definition, there are dozens of possible symptoms of PMS, or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, but typically for women, it means once a month they go through a period of feeling tired, clumsy, depressed, and irritable. We found a few suggestions that may offer some relief.

Connie Roberts, a Registered Dietitian, has spent much of her career researching the connection between Premenstrual Syndrome and diet. She says there are some tricks to controlling PMS. It won't work for everybody, but she says in addition to six small meals rather than big ones every day.

There are seven diet do's and don'ts that have shown great promise in alleviating symptoms.

  1. Limit simple sugars such as juice, soda, and candy. "Those are sources that don't give you a lot of nutrition for your calorie," says Roberts.
  2. Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates. "That would be the fruits, vegetables and whole grains," says Linda Antinoro, a Registered Dietician.
  3. Cut back on caffeine, including coffee, tea and chocolate. "Symptoms that may be improved would be tension, anxiety, and a woman may be able to sleep better at night," says Roberts.
  4. Reduce consumption of saturated fats such as fried foods, french fries, and donuts. "Put back more of what's called the omega-6 fats in the diet by using an oil called flax seed oil," says Roberts.
  5. Lower your salt or sodium intake, especially in the week before your cycle begins.
  6. Drink extra water and avoid alcohol.
  7. Eat foods that are rich in vitamin B-6, vitamin E, magnesium and calcium. "The words that I hear are, night and day. And often they're eager to bring in a significant other as testimony of the changes," says Roberts. Dietitians say that by sticking to the PMS diet you should notice results by your third cycle.

Of course, before you start a diet to control PMS, you should talk to your doctor about all your symptoms to make sure there's not some other problem that needs to be ruled out.

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